Welcome to VIERNULVIER
A new name for our organisation, not for our building.
“We need a little time to put our heads together as a team.”
This was our last communication about ‘the new name’ after the whirlwind that hit us back in April 2021. We needed to take some time to pause and think things through. Suffice it to say that the hubbub surrounding the whole naming process was intimidating, to say the least.
And the situation remained on pause for a little longer than originally intended. Still, good things come to those who wait. Today, one year after the storm, we emerge as VIERNULVIER Arts Centre, making a distinction between our activities and our location. From now on, VIERNULVIER will be organising its programme at (and out of) De Vooruit.
“The staff and the board are confident that, as an international arts centre with a large and young audience, we can make VIERNULVIER a strong brand. As VIERNULVIER we will be able to promote our programme and further our social and ecological commitments without being confused with a political party.”
Dozens of names were considered. But none that got us all excited. We started to wonder whether a suitable name could be found at all. This question led us to a term familiar to anyone who has ever searched for something unfindable on the internet: the error code ‘404’ (page not found).
Being figuratively confronted with this error code is what ultimately sparked the idea for our new name. VIERNULVIER marks the end of a long search and the beginning of something new. With this name, we’re giving a nod to the past while looking positively towards the future. VIERNULVIER – a number – is free of baggage: it does not refer to any particular memory, building, party or history. As VIERNULVIER, we once again have all the space we need to give substance to our brand.
“As VIERNULVIER, we look at the past with humour and self-reflection. In this way, we are drawing strength from this difficult search. VIERNULVIER means: keep searching, keep trying. The name also refers to our continuous search, as an art institution, for our place in the city and in the world.”
WELCOME TO VIERNULVIER AT DE VOORUIT
As an art institution, VIERNULVIER makes a distinction between its activities and De Vooruit, the location where it operates and where it receives its visitors. The monument on Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat will keep its name, but VIERNULVIER is much more than just De Vooruit. Our summer programme is diverse in scope, with dance, performance, debate, music and nightlife activities, spread across various locations in Ghent, as well as places further afield, like Ostend (Theater Aan Zee) and Northern Italy (Santarcangelo Festival).
“Making a distinction between building and activities is not a new concept: take the Bourla at the Toneelhuis in Antwerp, for example, or Compagnie Cecilia at De Expeditie in Ghent. It also allows us to communicate more clearly about our programme ‘outside’ De Vooruit – at other locations in Ghent and beyond.”
This division also emphasises our role as a platform. VIERNULVIER is not the only organisation that programmes events and activities at De Vooruit. Every day we collaborate with other cultural organisations, schools, artists, social welfare organisations, companies, etc. It will now be easier for these organisations to communicate clearly about their activities at De Vooruit.
NEW NAME, NEW PLANS
“In the coming years, VIERNULVIER will be going all-in on innovation, experimentation and discovery. We’re breathing new life into our programme by embracing circus arts, spoken word and food. We’re also welcoming new resident artists* for dance and performance, renewing our focus on music productions with residencies and our own label, and experimenting with gaming.
In short: nothing for everyone, something for everybody ...”
NEW RESIDENT ARTISTS
VIERNULVIER will be supporting the following resident artists and performance companies between 2023 and 2027: Damaged Goods/Meg Stuart & Jozef Wouters, laGeste, Mette Ingvartsen, Alexander Vantournhout, Joshua Serafin and Laura Nsengiyumva.
These artists will have a central place in our programme and artistic policy, in addition to receiving technical, financial and production support.
Our new resident artists are internationally renowned and bursting with potential. They are a testament to our decision to ramp up our focus on dance and performance.
The Brussels-Danish choreographer and dancer Mette Ingvartsen graduated from P.A.R.T.S in 2004, received her doctorate in choreography from the University of the Arts Helsinki and was an artist-in-residence at Kaaitheater and Volksbühne Berlin. In 2022 we will present and co-produce ‘To Come’, among other works, followed in 2023-24 by ‘The Skate Park Piece’.
laGeste is the unique new project arising from the fusion of les ballets C de la B and kabinet k. laGeste focuses on dance, the body and inclusive physicality in the form of productions, residencies and workshops. We will be co-producing and presenting the work of Joke Laureyns and Kwint Manshoven, and we aim to stimulate the further development of the Ghent dance landscape by providing a local anchor for international artists such as Andrew Graham, Eric Minh Cuong Castaing and Selma & Sofiane Ouissi.
Joshua Serafin left a lasting impression this year with ‘Miss’ at De Vooruit. An image from that performance serves as the poster image for our name change. The Brussels-Filipino artist attended the Philippine High School for the Arts and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He recently graduated from P.A.R.T.S. and is now studying for a master’s degree at the KASK. His work questions identity, transmigration, queer politics and representation. We will co-produce and present ‘Cosmological Gangbang’.
Damaged Goods produces the work of Meg Stuart and Jozef Wouters worldwide. Meg Stuart has an ongoing collaboration with Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin). She won the Flemish Performing Arts Culture Prize in 2008 and Jozef Wouters won it in 2019. VIERNULVIER will show and produce ‘The Matter’ (2022), ‘The Alien’ (2023), ‘Mystery School’ (2023), ‘The Dance On Ensemble project’ (2024).
In her work, the Belgian-Rwandan artist Laura Nsengiyumva explores themes such as empathy, the diasporic experience, multiple identities and North-South relations. She speaks about these issues through images and interventions in colonised spaces. Her transcultural view of history is based on human stories that invite us to search for what brings us together.
We will also extend our collaboration with Alexander Vantournhout / Not Standing. He has produced a number of works with us in the past: ‘Red Haired Men’ (2018), ‘Screws’ (2019), ‘Through the Grapevine’ (2020) and ‘Contre-Jour’ (2021). Vantournhout is an associate artist at Le CENTQUATRE in Paris. We will co-produce and present ‘Foreshadow’ (2023) and ‘Reframing’ (2024).
VIERNULVIER is gearing up for the future with a new name, a fresh new visual identity and lots of new plans.